How many of us underestimate toilet paper and paper towels? Besides being the softest or most absorbent, have you ever thought about how they make them or how safe they are for you? I know I I never thought about the dangers lurking inside my toilet paper roll, but my trusted doctor, Dr. After speaking with Leigh Erin Connealy, I did a quick Google search… YIKES! I threw away most of my paper towels, toilet paper and napkins. Why are you asking? Chlorine and bleach!
Just like me, you probably never thought about what it takes to make all these paper products so white. They may look clean and fresh, but products made with chlorine and bleach are full of toxins. After reading this blog, you will definitely have information that you need to think about.
Like most people my age, I grew up with the smell of bleach in my dad’s white work shirts and even our white sheets. You can even clean your bathroom and kitchen with bleach to disinfect them from all the nasty germs circulating in those rooms. If your kids are swimming, they are also in chlorine. So what is the problem you ask? Plenty of.
As we live healthier lives and become more health conscious, there is something we have to overcome that just because it’s present doesn’t make it right. For example, one of the biggest uses of chlorine is in the paper industry. It is used to shred wood fibers and whiten paper. This causes a chain reaction because it not only pollutes our streams and waterways, but also pollutes the fish and the people who eat the fish.
Chlorine in paper products causes the formation of dioxin, an extremely toxic chemical known to cause cancer and disrupt the endocrine system. Chlorine, as a byproduct of bleached paper production, is believed to be the most carcinogenic chemical known to science! It’s not just on paper, it’s all around us. Because of chlorine pollution, the average American ingests 300-600 times more dioxins, which are considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency! It was found to be 300,000 times stronger than DDT, one of the most widely known toxic synthetic pesticides! Chlorine has been associated with endometriosis, immune system dysfunction, diabetes, neurotoxicity, birth defects, decreased fertility and reproductive dysfunction in both men and women. Chlorine is found in coffee filters, paper milk cartons and even disposable diapers – our poor babies! THESE TOXINS ARE EASILY ABSORBED BY THE SKIN! That’s true, and did you know that almost everyone has chlorine in their blood? Although our bodies can metabolize and get rid of many pollutants, the dioxins found in chlorine are not so easily excreted. Therefore, the use of chlorine and chlorinated products can endanger your health.
Which brings me to a HUGE disadvantage of using chlorinated and bleached toilet paper. Our private parts are sensitive in many ways. Many women feel vaginal discomfort thinking it’s a yeast infection and use over-the-counter antifungals (Don’t even start thinking about why we shouldn’t use them—that’s for another day—another blog). These topical lotions may help women initially, but may not provide long-term relief. Why? Why? Since this is not a yeast infection, the creams most likely act as a barrier between the skin and toxic bleached toilet paper (possibly containing formaldehyde – another highly toxic substance). Once the cream is removed after a few wipes, you’re back to where you started – irritation from toilet paper containing chlorine/bleach. You are not solving the problem, you are just masking it. So if you use thick, absorbent, strong, bleached expensive brand toilet paper (or any bleached toilet paper), you may think you’re protecting and pampering your private parts, but in reality, with every wipe, you risk infection AND absorbing toxins. I hear my kids say when they were little, “Make sure you wipe it down thoroughly”. (Ha, ha) What was I thinking? You’re just wiping your own toxic chemicals! And if you think it would be better to wipe with damp wipes, think again. Unless it contains chlorine/bleach/fragrance, you will have the same issues!
Can you believe there are over 100,000 chemicals used in commercial paper products? Do you know that many of them are tested for possible risks to health? Not a lot. There are so many colors and scents to choose from – which adds another layer of problems/toxins. Also keep in mind that most tampons also contain chlorine, and some even add fragrance. All bad stuff!
While researching this, I found a video of a woman making her own reusable toilet paper out of fabric. That sounded interesting (in fact, crazy) until we talked about cleaning them. I guess that goes with the cloth diaper versus disposable diaper argument. What does he use to clean cloth wipes? Bleach? He did mention hot water, but how well will these reusable wipes clean? Hmm, maybe we all need to use a French bidet-toilet device that cleans our private parts with water! Those Frenchies can eat chocolate and not greasy and rinse rather than wipe! They got us on this too!
Since that might not be realistic and we can’t all just go out and get bidets, what’s our plan now, you ask?
Dr. As Leigh Erin Connealy points out, there has unbleached paper products. I want to show you the comparisons between paper products that contain chlorine and bleach and eco-friendly paper products that do not contain toxins. I used Amazon to find these products for comparison, but you can find better prices and more options elsewhere. This is just to let you know that being healthy isn’t always more expensive, and sometimes even cheaper!
7th Generation Toilet Paper 417 sheets/1$
Charmin Toilet Paper 96 sheets/1$
Green Forest Paper Towels 27 sheets/1$
Award Paper Towels 31 sheets/1$
Emerald Tree Face Wipes 69 sheets/1$
Charmin Facial Tissue 50 sheets/1$
I’m not trying to scare you with this information, but I want to enlighten you. The next time you buy any paper product, opt for chlorine-free, unbleached, dye-free and fragrance-free, especially toilet paper, for your health and the health of your family!
Eat well. Be Good and Erase Well Now Clever!!!